Stress Awareness Month is held every year to place a spotlight on the causes and cures of the modern stress epidemic. For many of us, stress can be experienced in a variety of environments, such as in the home, in relationships or even at work. Today we will be focusing on tips for working under pressure, as many people are having to readapt while working from home.
The Effect of a Global Pandemic
Stress Awareness Month falls every April and this year the focus is on regaining connection, certainty and control. The Stress Management Society recently collaborated with Huawei AppGallery to host a survey on stress.
The results collected data from 2000 British adults and found that 65% of people in the UK have experienced stronger feelings of stress since March 2020, when COVID-19 restrictions were first introduced. Many of those surveyed were worrying about loss of control, as well as experiencing feelings of uncertainty and disconnection.
Working at Home
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic many people were moved to working from home. Whilst at first, the idea of working from home may seem appealing, over time you can begin to feel an element of pressure.
Wladislaw Rivkin at Aston University explained that whilst being at home, people require a lot of self control, which over time can use a lot of mental energy, leading to mental exhaustion.
Tips for Working Under Pressure
If you are feeling pressure due to intruding thoughts and behaviours which distract you from your targets, here are some tips for working under pressure.
1. Learn to Outsource During Busy Periods
If you have been in your job role for a while now, you should be familiar with your busiest periods. To avoid an overwhelming workload followed by tight deadlines, relieve the pressure for yourself by trying to outsource some of your tasks in advance.
2. Focus Your Mind
While planning in advance is helpful, constantly focusing on deadlines and your growing workload can be draining. Instead, it can be beneficial to focus on the present task at hand. Centre your attention on the next couple of tasks you can complete there and then, to reduce overwhelming feelings of pressure.
3. Finding What Works for You
Everyone works differently and finding a way of organising your time and task list can help you to visualise what needs to be done. A simple routine which allows breaks that don’t require self control, such as an easy task to begin your work day and your lunch break, can also help to relax your mind.
One method of limiting your chances of procrastinating is finding out why you are doing it in the first place. What are you trying to avoid? Once you identify this, create an action plan on making it a less daunting task and seek support if needed.
4. Managing Pressure
Pressure can be defined as a threatening influence on someone or a challenging scenario which causes feelings of worry or unhappiness. Often the most pressuring part of a challenging task is the thought of being under pressure. You can become fixated on imagining the worst possible (and unlikely) outcomes.
Instead, take a step back and focus on one task at a time and break it down into an easy to follow step-by-step process.
5. Understand Your Emotions
If the pressure of working from home is being felt by the entire team, there are exercises you can do together.
An Emotions in Action Jotter can help teams when discussing stress, change, emotional intelligence, resilience and personal development. There are four zones to discuss: Thriving Zone for performance, Surviving Zone for call to actions, Burnout Zone for responding to loss and Recharge Zone for replenishing energy. We have a downloadable guide available which can guide you through this in greater detail.
In addition to physical resources, we also host our Mindspring Virtual Workshops. This is ideal for leaders who can see that their team is feeling under pressure and unmotivated. Through these virtual leadership workshops, you can learn about inspirational leadership and boosting resilience for your team.
As part of Stress Awareness Month 2021, reflect on how you can regain connection, certainty and control with the help of our resources.